AT&T Applies For Temporary FCC Clearance To Conduct 5G Demo

The hype surrounding 5th-generation wireless technologies has been growing with every passing month, thanks to reports about telecom companies in South Korea, Japan and the United States starting their trials and demonstrations of the all-new technology. Although the commercial launch of 5G is still a long way away, the upcoming technology promises to revolutionize the way we use the World Wide Web by increasing the speeds and reducing the latency of our internet connections. South Korean telecom firm, KT, has already announced that it will debut the technology at the 2018 Winter Olympics, to be held in PyeongChang, South Korea. The other major carrier in the country, LG U+, has also tied up with Samsung and Ericsson for 5G and IoT-related research. All the major carriers in the U.S. have also been conducting their own experiments on 5G if reports from earlier this year are anything to go by.

Now, it is the turn of AT&T, the second largest wireless carrier in the U.S., to announce its plans to expand the 5G trials it has been conducting over the past few months. According to reports, the carrier recently applied to the FCC for a temporary one week license to conduct a 5G demo using the 28GHz frequency spectrum inside an indoor arena at the Edgar A. Smith Building in Austin, Texas, during the Texas Wireless Summit this October. Even as 1Gpbs internet connections continue to remain a rarity around the world, studies conducted earlier by AT&T have already shown that speeds over 10Gbps are actually quite plausible on 5G; at least under controlled conditions. While high frequency bands are not generally considered suitable for mobile internet connections, AT&T is apparently looking at mobility as well as fixed connections as part of its 5G roadmap.

As for the ongoing 5G research AT&T has been conducting in collaboration with Intel and Ericsson, the operator has already been able to demonstrate blazing fast download speeds of up to 14Mbps under test conditions in a 15GHz system in its Austin labs. With multi-user MIMO (Multiple-in, Multiple-out), the company has been able to demonstrate speeds of up to 5Mbps to two users. The carrier now wants to start conducting more large-scale tests in the Texan city before the 3GPP 5G standards are finalized in 2018-2019.

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